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PRECIOUS-Gold firms as China Evergrande worries lift appeal

Sept 27 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Monday as persistent concerns over the fate of debt-laden property giant China Evergrande and its broader impact bolstered the precious metal’s safe-haven appeal.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold rose 0.5% to $1,757.79 per ounce by 0127 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.3% at $1,757.30.

* Asian shares got off to a cautious start on Monday amid a jump in oil prices and uncertainty over the Evergrande saga, as the Chinese firm missed a payment on offshore bonds last week, with further payment due this week.

* Further gains in bullion were capped as benchmark 10-year Treasury yields hit their highest since early July, increasing the opportunity cost of holding the non-interest bearing gold.

* A pair of Federal Reserve policymakers said on Friday they felt the U.S. economy is already in good enough shape for the central bank to begin to withdraw support for the economy.

* Fed Chair Jerome Powell is due to testify this week before Congress on the central bank’s policy response to the pandemic.

* Physical gold demand in top consumer China rose last week as buyers sought cover from the potential fallout of the Evergrande crisis coupled with factors including a seasonal pick-up in activity.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings increased 0.1% to 993.52 tonnes on Friday from 992.65 tonnes on Thursday.

* Speculators cut their net-long positions in COMEX silver by 13,178 contracts to 900 in the week to Sept. 21, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed.

* Silver rose 0.9% to $22.61 per ounce.

* Platinum climbed 1% to $992.00, while palladium inched 0.1% higher to $1,973.47.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 1230 US Durable Goods Aug

Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.

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